Tuesday, 28 February 2017

500 Blog Posts And Weather

It seem I have been doing this blogging thing for nearly five years now, I had to check it myself. Old age and pain is probably playing tricks with my memory. I am a little surprised that I have stuck with over time. What I find more surprising is the level of commitment I am putting into it. At one point, a few years ago, my interest levels were dropping. Since then, not only have I turned that around but I am seriously considering this blogging every day thing.

This is 500 posts. Perhaps not the biggest total for a blogger, but for a gamers blog, I think it's pretty respectable. It's taken me four years to get here. If I stick with this, I could hit the thousand mark by Christmas next year. I think that this is something worth aiming for but this is a big chunk to break off and chew.

It's cold here. It has been trying to snow for the last few days. There appears to be another big storm on the way. All the worst weather without any of the pretty stuff. This is still putting delays on doing some spray painting. The paint queue is looking pretty slim at the moment. Terrain is still the focus but the next step really does need some space inside. This will need some good weather to sort out as well. March is traditionally a windy month in the UK so things are not promising.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Zombies, Millions Of Them

You know when you are facing a lot of a lot of zombies when one of the players downloads the theme for the film Zulu. This was the most we had seen in a game yet. Come to think of it, tonight we saw more zombies tonight than I think we have seen in the last four games. Three became thirty when we got to the corner of a corridor. Savage Worlds is a pretty good system for zombie games. The players have a chance of living through the game without dying, as long as they can fight, have a half decent parry and the ammunition doesn't run out.
Today has been a world of paperwork so not much to write about there. The rest of tonight is all set for watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead. Zombie are a good way to end the world.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Airsofting, Oh The Pain

I haven't been airsofting in a very long time. It had kind of lost it's allure. It's a pain getting all the stuff together. It takes the best part of a day to get ready. Then there is the day itself. The most fun part. My gun died. Then I hired a gun. This was a bit cack. It didn't fire more often than it did fire and it cost me money. It was in Wigan so it was full of pie-eaters. It's a rugby league thing, ish. The site was okay but the dodgy gun and my lack of energy (possibly through the consumption of too many pies) made the day a lot less fun. I remember the days when I used to be fit enough to run round all day.

After the airsofting comes the pain. Everything hurts, even after brufen and a shower. I am not looking forward till tomorrow. Things will really start to hurt. But it's game night tomorrow and the weather may even be good enough to do some spray painting.

I was bidding on a The Walking Dead:  All Out War box. Sadly, this didn't come off.I want the figures but I think I will wait until I can get them at the right price, which will probably be the next show I go to.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Britain At War And Airsoft Tomorrow

This morning is all about waiting around. I have spent much of the morning doing paper work. I am going airsofting tomorrow for the first time in about two years. I have spent a large amount of time sorting things out for this. This came as a surprise as I thought I had everything together. Then I realised that I couldn't get the gun box open as I couldn't find the key. So I had to saw it open. Then I couldn't find my magazine. I will be going out with one or two mags in the morning. I need a bigger garage so I can get organised.

Anyway. I saw something online about Vedrun, which fell to the Germans just over a hundred years ago. I know that was the French and the Germans but it made me think, what were we doing on that day.

Today was the first day that the British used poison gas, in this case chlorine, on the battlefield. Typical of the British Army using new kit they managed to kill a large number of their own men before embarking on a non-essential badly planned attack. This was the point that Field Marshall Haig replaced Field Marshall French. Another major move forward, with similar long term effects of using the gas. That was sarcasm for the record. I have been looking at the Peter Pig minis for years but the lack of an opponent has kind of put me off.

It is also the anniversary of the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Stamford Bridge was a major victory for the Saxons under Harold Godwinson, seeing the demise of the Norwegian leader Harald Hardrada and Harold's treacherous brother Tostig. This was a battle I was planning to use as the model for my Viking game. Not the time and the place, just the treachery, back biting and mayhem.

On this day the British surrendered Fort Sckville to the Americans during the American War of Independence. Not the biggest defeat they ever had but it did set in motion a chain of events. The world may have been a very different place if this had not happened. As far as I read it, this should be an object lesson to the designers of fortifications everywhere.

A bit closer to home was the formations of the Solemn League and Covenant. This was a turning point in the English Civil War. Although not an end in itself, the forces arrayed against the King and the shear number of men were now building up to an unstoppable army.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Perhaps The Least Required Blog Post Ever

I wanted to do a lot with the day. I really did.  But it started with a plan that was really about taking my mum out for lunch. Which became lunch in a cafe in Wales. Which I had to sell everyone on doing. Then my mum wasn't so good but everyone still wanted to go. Not exactly a day wasted but not my most productive day either. There was even some good weather whilst I was out which meant I should have been able to spray paint the last of the cars.

So Sunday is still about airsoft so tomorrow is going to be spent prepping for that first and foremost. The plan is also looking like it will involve a trip to go shopping. This means I will get to go to a few game shops. Maybe some more cheap cars.

With all that said and done, the number of posts I have made so far this year equals the total number of posts

With a bit luck I'll find some of the stuff on my wish list. Zombies may figure on that.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Small Steps And Zombies

Doing this daily blog thing is becoming a bit of a pain but I am sticking with it. It is keeping me motivated but maybe not to keep painting. As part of it inspires me to do something almost every day, even if it is only a little something. So here I am, two months down the line and still going. Even if the content has been a little light.

So today has been busy. I am still looking for something to do next. What I want to do here and now is still being frustrated by the weather. Storm Doris has hit hard today so even going out of the house was a bit of a challenge. The cars are still waiting to be done and I am still looking at getting some more.

My head is still being turned by zombies. I have the urge to watch all of the Romero films all over again. The second film was a really big influence on me and it was probably the defining film of my teenage years. This is mainly because I was big into horror films at the time. The remakes are good and some of them do some justice to the originals but they are not the originals.

I have a lot of zombie miniature. It could certainly be said that I have too many zombies. Most of these were painted a long time ago and my skills have improved a lot since then. So I think it would be worth doing some more. I am a big fan of the Cold Wars zombies and I am looking at the zombies from Studio Miniatures. This is along side all the All Out War stuff from Mantic.

Zombie games have been my bread and butter for years. Most of my mates just won't play zombie games. They like fantasy. Especially D+D which I think is the worst fantasy game of all time. So as I am am getting to play in zombie games now, I will look at doing a zombie game of my own.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

What's Next

I haven't done anything miniatures related today. My workbench is now covered with part done cars. I have more to do. Most need another coat and some just need a first coat. Storm Doris seems to be proving us with endless rain so spraying outdoors with gloss paint is a bit of a no-no. This has created a bit of a log jam. Other stuff has also gotten in the way. The best part of a hour it took to get a prescription filled did not help.

So I have done some game prep. My current vibe is around The Walking Dead: All Out War. I am watching it on the TV and I keep looking at buying it online and painting videos on YouTube. This is on top of playing a zombie game on Monday nights which I am really enjoying. I have also had some more thoughts about X-Com.

It looks like I am off airsofting in the weekend and I need to start prepping that. I suspect there is a few hours work in that. Space is at a premium and I am thinking I am going to have to make some space in the garage prior to starting off on this. I used to like airsofting a lot more but I guess I feel I am getting to old for it. Odd then that it's one of my mates who is a bit older than me that has talked me back into it.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Damn Dog

Today has been a bit of a slow day. I am blaming the dog. Every time I got of the couch the dog was jumping around. Despite talking her for a walk, feeding her, giving her bonus snacks and playing with her chew toy, she would not leave me alone. The only peace I have had has been when I was on the sofa. It is obviously not because I have lost my mojo.

I did manage to do some stuff with the terrain I have started. This mainly involved painting the packaged containers I started playing about with the other day. I also had a go at gluing some small pipes together. As the pipes are made from biros bits, the ink went everywhere. Then I moved on to the cars. This is turning into a major project. The plan is to turn some into police cars. A German one, and American one and a British one. So I put some masking tape on them in preparation.

So as I have been stuck on the sofa with the dog welded to my thigh. This has meant that I been playing games. I am now finally downloading Conan Exiles. Survival crafting games seem to be my current thing.

Monday, 20 February 2017

A Not So Busy Day

I never had high hopes for today. I was always going to have a lot on during the day and Monday evening is my gaming night. I have been after some wire drums and was struggling to find something that was the right size and fairly inexpensive. In the end I have decided to make some out of round wooden bases. So I did a bit of engraving and now I need to find something to act as the spindle as what I had in mind at the time turned out to be way too big so I need an alternative. Other than the game this evening, that was about it other than a quick tidy up.

The evenings game was fun. Plenty of zombies to kill and a puzzle to solve. The cornerstone of a good RPG.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Another Busy Day

Although I feel that I haven't had that much time today, it seems that I have done a fair amount of work. Having had a terrible nights sleep it was really late when I got up. I woke up in the middle of the night and had a dizzy spell and almost fell out of bed. Then my uncle brought some books back and I took my mum out. On the plus side I got some cheap gloss spray paint which I used to spray some more of the cars. Now I have stripped all the labels off the cars I now have. I still think I need some more of those plastic cars. This may become a habit. I can see another three or four boxes of the cars arriving before the week is out.

Then I got round to filling some holes in the roof of the cars. Then I found out I had some left over greenstuff so I ended up using that on some Lizardmen for Titansgrave and an Reaper bones frost giant. I really thought I was going off target so I got back to the scatter terrain which, for the most part, is now finished. I found some more pipe sections when I was cleaning up the bench so I had better get them done soon.

Now I am working on some more scatter terrain. I am doing some tree trunks, probably better that I show them when they are done. It will look better when you see the final concept. I did a bt of painting of some of the scatter terrain that is already in the queue. Then I thought about some model brick piles I saw so I thought I'd have a go at them. These are still to wet to handle so I will take a picture of them when they are closer to being finished. It's just a foamcore topper scores to look like bricks with some more layers of foamcore to give it the look of having layers. then I got on to the idea of having some packaged items that are covered with tarpaulin. For both I used kitchen roll. I am hoping that the texture of the paper will be noticeable when they paint dries. These will do for a variety of game environments and even genres.

So all in all, not a bad day. I am driven to do the blog at the moment which is driving me to do the work. I have posted every day for almost two months now. If I keep that up, I will have posted as many times this year already as I did in the whole of last year. I would like to make this the big year for the blog so I want to post as many times as I can and hopefully beat my posting record. That would take at least another two months of posting at this frequency. I am about to hit five hundred posts which seems like a good milestone to be hitting and my hits seem to be healthy too.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Life Mocks Me

Having had such a great day yesterday has meant that there had to be some payback. The low point being treading in a dog t%*d that fell off the dog as it walked in. Although I did get a shed load of stuff done this morning, my output has dwindled a lot this afternoon and evening. There was a lot of spray painting. The smell has stuck with me all day.

So when I got up it was raining. So I the first thing was to starting putting some more laser cut stuff together. My plan is still to work some more of the X-Com plan. Terrain is obviously featuring highly as I want to have a number of terrain environments for the players to run around in. these are going to be roughly based around the X-Com game. The first one is looking like the building site. An urban site, maybe a high street is probably next. After that will be a UFO. So the next bit I am working on is a few bits for that.
The power cores I have talked about before. The control panels are new. The plan is to give me a range of options. Smaller ships will probably only have one with larger ships having multiples. There are plenty of more options.

After that I have sprayed some of the car bodies. I have a few more to do but I really need some more colours. I got hold of a green and yellow really cheaply when one of the local B&Qs closed down. So a red, shiny white, blue, silver and a shiny black would be nice but that might be a bit costly. I might also get even more of the cheap plastic cars.

Then it started raining again so it was back to the laser cut scatter terrain. I glued together some space age cargo pods. I striped a few more cars of their sticky labels. This really does take an age. Another plan is to cut up some branches to use as trees. Some will do for tree stumps, some as fallen trees but I am hoping most will end up as trees. I was playing a game on Monday where the guy placed some trees. I was looking at the scale of them an is was all wrong. Tree trunks should be a lot wider, especially if you want to hide behind them. Real trees, in the main, have enough space to walk under. So I figured if I got a branch into two inch sections and glued it to a base, this would look good enough for what i wanted. Then a bit of work on the building site terrain. this is nearly finished so I hope they will be finished by close of play tomorrow.

Now it's time for bed. If I want to get anything done tomorrow, I'd better get to bed.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Early Post

After not feeling too well, I started having a go at stuff on the workbench again. I am still really just messing around. I did some more pallets out of matches and coffee stirrers. I now have a good pile of the things which supply my immediate needs. I thought I wasn't going to need so many, then I saw a pile of pallets whilst playing X-Com 2 on Thursday.
So I got on to do a few more bits. then I had the idea to play around with some of the trucks I got. I showed one of these the other day and I now have three of them. So I decided to do a stretch body with one of them. This required what was on the back of two of them to be chopped up and stuck together to form a longer bed and chopped up the body of one of them so that I could put the wheels in the right place. I am wondering of it should have another set of wheels but too late now.

Then I strengthened the body with coffee stirrers (not my first choice but it was what I could find). Looks a bit odd now but will be unnoticeable when it's painted. The bed was left a little uneven so I thought I should put a bed on them. The plan is to use it as a terrain feature so an even surface for figures to climb on was important. More coffee stirrers and a bit of green stuff and here we are. All it will need is a bit of a finish on the greenstuff when it dries to smooth it off. If there are anymore gaps, the primer will hopefully sort them out.

Most immediately this is for the X-Com game. That said, this vehicle should do fine in anything modern or near future, especially zombie related.

With Added Stream Of Unconsciousness + Some Terrain

I was feeling great. Less dizzy and running around getting things done despite a bit of a wobble earlier. For the first time in a while I am more or less being left around. Everyone is out or in their rooms. Time to get something done. In pretty short order I started feeling dizzy so I have stopped again until I feel a bit better. It's looking like YouTube for me for a couple of hours at least.
So I thought I would do some of the laser cut terrain I got. rather than just pictures of what I had, I thought I would put them together. So I started with the park benches. They are by far the easiest build to do. They fit together well and look good when put together. They are now in in the primer queue.
The US post boxes are not complicated but a bit more fiddly to do. Although I want plenty of scatter terrain, I will probably only do one as expected. The other will either be a post-apocalypse slightly damaged one. I am sure it would fit in with the Fallout vibe. Or, I could give it a different paint job rather than the standard blue. Some older post boxes were blue and red, I think and I have even seen a picture of one painted up as R2D2 so they could look like anything. Although they are listed a possibly being bins, I have a different idea for them. Looking at the completed model makes me think I should fill in some of the gaps over the top at the back. 

Inner Ear

I have woken up feeling lousy again. So far, I have had a couple of wobbles already. When I got up I had the urge to play Fallout for a bit but this triggered the first of the wobbles. At the moment I an guessing I won't be doing too much moving around today. This is a bit of a problem as I am going to be on my own much of the day. On the bright side, maybe this means I can sit at the bench for the day.

I am tired of stripping cars so I am going to get on with something else. Terrain maybe?

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Fast Cars

I have spent what little time I have had today cleaning the plastic police cars I got the other day. I now have a few more packs of them (five instead of one). There are two different cars, a four door pickup and a two door pickup. The plan is still to turn a few of them into wrecks and maybe modify a couple. Wrecks are always useful and the X-Com game and any prospect of a post-apocalypse game would find them useful.

I can see me putting a back in one of the sporty cars and a pickup truck and replacing the non-existent window. I am thinking about putting a box cab on the back of one of the pickups. When they are painted, I can put a bit of variety in the beds of the trucks. I have some spray paint but the plan is to get some more. Do a bit of highlighting on the seating and pick out some details, like lights an licence plates on the car bodies.

I have fancied doing a car wars type game for a very long time. The thought occurs that I can put some magnets in them for attaching weapons to the vehicles in the future. This might be a bit over the top but it would future proof them.  This might be a bit further down the line.

I have also managed to get hold of some more of the trucks. The ones with the skip is probably going to lose the skips. The vehicle cost £1 and I can't find a 28mm skip for sale for less than £3. I will keep one as a skip transport, without the skip. I can see a stretched body with a flatbed or a container. The last one will end up as a wreck.

Still it's half term next week. Hopefully this means that I will have a bit more time on my hands and I will be a little less shagged out so I might get a bit more done. I might have to work harder at getting them cleaned up as the glue is pretty robust.

The blog is doing okay. I have a managed a daily post for almost two months. The blog seems to be booming. Although there is a chunk of stuff I don't understand like random referring sites and a lot of Russian hits, traffic does seem to be up.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Laser Cut terrain

When I got the counters from Blotz I also ordered some laser cut terrain. Nothing too big. I don't mind doing the buildings myself. In reality, I get something closer to the floor layout I want even if I don't always get the look.

What I was thinking was more about ET-Com. There are certain things that I need that are much easier and quicker to buy. The biggest problems were going to be around the UFOs. I am not trying to duplicate what is in the games but I am trying to make something that looks alien enough. I already have a few bits and pieces. I have been buying stuff for years but there are still some gaps. This seemed like a good time to do something about that.

These will do nicely as alien storage crates both in and out of the alien's UFO. It's just more cover and obstacles for the players to get around. There are some larger ones as well in a different set. All told, this is probably more alien storage crates than I need, but then I think you can never have enough of stuff like this, just in case

I am not sure what I will do with these but I thought they looked nicely alienesque. I am currently thinking that I could cover each of them with a clear plastic tube and some sort of lid. The plan is to make them into some kind of power supply unit. I still need a UFO and some UFO wreckage so one of these might end up as a wreckage marker.

I also got some more mundane bits of dress up terrain. I have some already but I figure on you never have enough. Benches and bus shelters were available so I thought it couldn't hurt and they were fairly cheap as well. The booth, well I am not sure what that is going to end up as.

Still can't shake this inner ear thing. I am beginning to think it's not going away for a while. I still feel pretty drained most of the time and I thought I was over and done with it. I am still getting dizzy every now and again. I am just not moving too fast at the moment, just in case.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Shopping Spree

I know how to live large. Just eat a lot of pies right? I got a few hours off yesterday and found myself in town. I had an eye on buying some cheap bits and pieces for 28mm scale terrain. The pound shops are always a good place to start. I walked away with a small haul of bits and pieces that I can see being used in modern games, near future and most importantly, the planned X-Com RPG. After getting back, the vertigo came back for a bit so that put a bit of a crimp in the rest of my day.

Mainly I got cheap vehicles. These utility vehicles type trucks are pretty good. I have purchased some of these trucks before but I think I paid four pounds for each. A pound each in the pound shop. These are pretty good and have some nice details. The skip is just about the perfect and if I got one of these in resin it would cost about £3.
The buses looked better in the box and they are not the star of the show. Although only a pound each, I am sure I can still find a use. They are a little short and a fraction under scale but will do. One for best and one for wrecked. They are pretty flimsy though and the glass is actually painted plastic so might take some work to make it look bashed in. It has to be said that the real plan is to use them for terrain and nothing else. They will look okay on a modern street and will be fine for X-Com or Shadowrun if I ever go back to playing that. they are bad enough that spending any effort on them would be a waste.
Untouched and a little bit too tall
The police cars were a bit of a punt. I saw them months ago but thought they were too tall. Then I saw them online and realised that I could probably drop the chassis. This only drops a couple of millimetres but it's enough.

There is also a mechanical element on the axle which I am sure can be used for something else. Like the buses, they are pretty flimsy but might actually be an advantage when it comes to making them looked trashed. I know I have seemed to go to town on this but it seems to me that these have some potential.
There is enough texture to make them interesting. The plan would be to spray them but I might just do a test first. The seats are actually detachable so can be taken out and painted too.
some details and about the right size
Having had a closer look, the current plan is to buy some more. I don't have that many colours of spray paint so I might get some more.
dropped chassis
I was after some sandpaper to use as a road surface. I found sixteen A4 sheets of black sandpaper for a pound so I got a couple of packs. This will be cut to size and put on the road templates when I get it. A smoother, is a little to uniform surface, it will look pretty good when it has road markings and has been given a good dry brushing.

So I think I will try another shop, see if I can get some more of the police cars and utility vehicles. Even if they are not used as is, they are sure to look pretty good as ruins or scrap.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Counters For Savage Worlds

I play Savage Worlds a lot. Back in the day, when I was using 15mm a lot, I used painted washers. White for Shaken, red for each wound. For 28mm, I have been using poker chips but these are just too big and often get in the way. They make great Bennies though. I have thought about using wooden 2p bases and spraying them. I have tried it but they tend to wobble just a little bit. Anyway, referee for the game I am playing has found something else.
These Markers are from Blotz. Not quite perfect but close enough. I have red wounded markers and white shaken markers. Something for fatigue might have been nice but I don't use them much so can get away with not having them.  I have a few other markers that I am going to use for ET-Com/X-Com. I would show them but I have plans for keeping things secret.
They are £1 for 5

Sunday, 12 February 2017

More On Scatter Terrain

Not much time again today. It was 6pm before I even thought about getting started. I took my mum out for a bit. She was really happy to be getting out of the house. I forgot how tired I am after the bug the other week and game back home and slept on the sofa for nearly two hours. So much for my plan of getting something done.
So I have glued another wood pile together and some more wooden bases. I found enough bases to do a third pile of foam, which I might just paint blue. I also found some similar sized plywood bases which I figure would do okay for wooden boards. See if I can find some clear wood stain and see if that works.

Pipes next. They look okay at the moment. I think I will need to prime these as they are way too shiny to hold paint and black is a bad colour to do anything with anyway. If I prime them grey, they should look okay dry-brushed. The tricky bit was finding something for them to rest on. I ended up doing more than I thought. Three singles, two doubles and a single stacked triple is the plan.

I found the enthusiasm to build some pallets. They don't take a huge amount of time to do but they do look good. I am sure that I can find a use for the other one and the plan is to make about a dozen more. I've placed some chemical drums on them just for show. I am currently debating basing them. This would detract from the look but they would be a lot more robust.

Then the plan is to do some covered piles. I haven't found something to cover them in yet but I am sure I will find something when I look hard enough.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Scatter Terrain

I have done some actual physical gaming stuff. I'm still thinking about terrain. I have had a few ideas hanging around in my mind for a while for piles of stuff found on a building site. One of them was to use some plastic pipes that I got years ago at B&Q in a sale for 50p. These are just going to get painted up as large concrete pipes and stuck on a  wooden base.

Speaking of wooden bases. I have a load of old bases for DBA. I have glued some of these and the plan is to paint them pink. At 40mm by 20mm they are just about right for 8" by 2" pink insulation foam sheets. I could probably do the same for piles of boards. A couple of stacks of both of these should go down okay. I am going to do a bit more by way of covered piles, some off cuts covered by some plastic sheeting. I'd like some corrugated plastic to do a pile of wriggly tin. I'd like to make some pallets but I suspect that is going to be more trouble that it's worth. I have some smaller barrels that would do fine on these and larger barrels that would be okay on their own.Then I can put some stuff on top of them. I did some card pseudo ISO containers with a sci-fi vent. I might do a few, maybe half a dozen, that are more in keeping with a contemporary vibe. Piles of smaller pipes, like drain pipes and I beams might easily be feasible too. Although I haven't got any I could order some porta toilets and a generator or too Some bricks would be nice to. I have seen a few brick piles done and might have a go at that as well. Can't have bricks without mortar. If I can find some sacks, all I would need to do is paint a blue circle on them and a little bit of flash and I would have bags of cement.
The last one is some piles of wood. I decided to do this several months ago and cut the pieces out of coffee stirers and left them in a box. So I have glued them together on another base I wasn't going to use. I have enough to do another similar pile or make this one bigger. Each is about 3" by 1" in terms of base  size. I have a lot of waist high obstacles and I would like a couple of taller ones but I am thinking more is better and a stack that high would be unrealistic.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Thoughts On Laying Out Roads For Wargames

At the moment I am thinking about terrain. Roads are to be the first order of business but I am thinking about the big picture and what comes after, the buildings, vehicles and street furniture. Doing individual bits is no problem, integrating them together is a lot less fun.

Most of the stuff I do on tabletop is modern, near future or sci-fi. I work on the assumption that vehicles are going o play a part in any game I play. I like using models that are just about the right size rather than cardboard cutouts although this is not all that bad. I also like street furniture and just a lot of general clutter. The trouble is that foot paths and roads are only so wide and it's difficult to may this look good if all you figures are on one inches bases.

This in general reveals the cognitive dissonance of the gamer. I want something that looks pretty that I can game on easily. It's a bit like the old rule about building projects, you can have two of cheap, quick and well but not all three. Coming to think of it, if you work for my last employer even that was impossible. Maybe they could get cheap, if they got lucky, but that's another story.

A typical road/highway lane is anywhere from about 9 to 15 feet (2.7 to 4.6 metres) and yes I took time to work it out. So assuming that 1" on a tabletop is about 5" (not perfectly accurate but a good ready reckoner) that would make a road 2 to 3 squares wide which is pretty much what I am planning on. If you then put vehicles in, there should be no space between the vehicles. Parking spaces then become vast tracts of land that it can take an entire combat turn to cross. On a two inch pavement you can only fit two figures abreast in a space that should be ten feet wide. So you up the scale to make it more realistic. A typical human, with limited personal space issues could comfortable fit in a two be three or maybe three by three space.

One of my old bugbears is about weapons ranges. I like Conspiracy X, it is possibly my favourite RPG of all time. The combat system is nice and fairly well balanced. That has a drawback.  The range for a sniper rifle, in the five foot scale would be (with my limited grasp of maths) about thirty three feet on tabletop. Hitting something with a shotgun becomes a challenge at around ten inches and more or less impossible at about twenty inches. Throwing a grenade more than about twenty feet is a challenge (in the real world). Better be sure you can throw it at least fifteen inches because (in Savage Worlds at least) the lethal circumference is four inches.

Setting up buildings often makes things even more interesting. 5mm foam core is about 1" wide in 1:1 scale. Not all that out for a modern house. If you put the walls on the edge of the building, you loose a lot of space in the building (you won't get away with it with 25mm bases and I use 2p bases mainly which are 25.9mm). I can see ways of getting around that but that makes for very complicated designs. At the moment, I am thinking that I put the wall in the middle of the square then I have a bit more wiggle room in the building and then I can use the extra space on the outside of the building for dressing up the building (bushes, plant pots, steps etc).

It makes no sense/it's not fair. So realism really has to go out of the window. So maybe you just make it look pretty.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

A Year Gone Bye

I had a bad nights sleep last night. Today, or more accurately at about 2 am this morning was the anniversary of my Dad's death. So not the best of days for me and mine especially as my mum's illness was also a big part of the day. I have been tired and grumpy not to mention being ill all day.

My mum and dad had not long moved back into the country when he was diagnosed with cancer. I was happy when they came back because it meant I would have some time with them. On a day to day basis I forgot about that. I had so many chances to spend some time with him that I didn't take. Today I think about that and I feel nothing but regret.

So...If you happen to be reading this, remember the people around you, if you'll miss them when they are gone, go and spend a bit of time with them. I also think about the things he has left undone and my dad was a bit of a whirlwind when it came to getting things done. He went out regretting a lot of what he hadn't done. If he is going to go, regretting what he hadn't done, then the rest of us should get on with doing.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

How Many Roads.....

Feeling a little better today. Dizzy on occasion and the light sensitivity has gone down a fair bit. So able to do something a bit more practical but I am still not at the stage where I want to sit at the work bench. So I began to think about some design work. I was thinking about how to lay out the roads. AS I can't find my PC version of CorelDraw I am back to using Libre Office Draw. This would be fine, I am not looking at skilled work, just boxes and line, but the damn thing keeps crashing. I wouldn't mind but it's simple boxes without anything to complicated. The most annoying thing is when it crashes when I have asked it to save. There is a lot of advice on the web about what to do. I have followed all of it. Hasn't helped. I have come to the conclusions it's a bit s"!t.

It's worth blocking things out to give you an idea of what you are looking at. I come from the UK so he roads here are all right hand drive. Practically every where else has left hand drive (Bloody Americans :) not to mention the Germans and the French) so road markings on junctions are really obviously different. Everything else should be fine. So I will need to lots of junctions or things will look wrong. I will start with doing left hand drive versions. Fortunately the UK has not been the scene of any major land battles whilst we have had metaled roads. Might be a problem if I want to do VBCW.
This is a sample of the plan. I am currently thinking about how to work out the practicalities. Beveled terrain usually looks better but there is a part of me that wants to use this for something a bit more integrated, maybe putting magnets in it and finding some steel sheets to attach to the board. If I do that the Y junctions may be redundant.
As a addendum, I've added a few dirt tracks. This will probably be the first project as I am guessing it this will be the easiest to complete. Just work out the curves.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017


I was looking at how much the cut foam would be to do everything I had planned. I always like to do things on a budget. That said, sometime you need to spend the money. The grand total came up to around the £200 pound mark. So the project would be a lot more expensive than I was hoping and it's a lot of money for something that might be a complete white elephant.

So I have decided to spend a chunk of it and get some stuff done and then see how things progress. The plan is now to do some 6" wide tarmac roads and some dirt tracks. Picking a figure, that would be at least fifty feet of roads and paths. It sounds like a lot but it only includes about twelve feet of straight roads, plus junctions. I am beginning to think that this isn't actually enough.

I am still in the planning stage. This is mainly down to the fact that I am still ill. I am amazed that I have gotten anything done I have been that tired. Now it is getting time to go to bed, I am wide awake. I missed out on my game last night, the show on Sunday and all the time I have missed out painting and doing terrain. This sucks...

Monday, 6 February 2017

Still On The Subject Of Wargames and RPG Terrain

I was looking at the ideas for terrain again today. Specially roads, rivers at the like, when I worked out what I needed there were going to be over 150 separate sections. This is a large amount of work even before I begin. 150 sounds like a lot but this would be separate between larger tarmac road, smaller tarmac roads, dirt roads, paths, railways, rivers stream and post apocalyptic roads. This is on top of some odd shapes and curves which would add a significant chunk. I was looking at amount 3 4' by 8' boards.

On top of that I want to do various areas of terrain, rocky bits, ponds, marshes, a large variety of greenery, fields of several types, slime pools, ruins, waste ground, rubble, heavy going. The list is just endless. Then I was also looking at linear terrain. When I think about how many wall and fence sections I did for 15mm, If I wanyted top do that on MDF sections I think I would be looking and buying another table saw as I am pretty sure I would be wearing out the one I have by the time I finish.

It's a pain in the arse. I won't be quite right because things never are. I would bet that some of the stuff would end up wasted so I would have to buy even more.

So I got to looking at videos on YouTube. I still feeling lousy and standing upright is not cyrrently a certainty. There are all sorts of terrain videos but not many are that much good. There is one guy I can't stand to listen to but you can't deny his skills at producing good simple terrain. He is currently using expanded PVC. This stuff is used mainly for signage.. I had never heard of it before but it seems rigid enough and pretty light.

So I went looking for some of it. It's pretty cheap per sheet. Then I found a site that cuts the stuff up. It won't do cuts less than 10cm so I can't get all the shapes I want and I will still have to do the curves and some of the odd shapes. That said, I won't have to cut out 150+ shapes and as a major plus, the should all be the dimensions I ask for. On the downside, as a back of a fag packet calculation, it's going to cost about £100.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

What To Do For Terrain

Terrain is a big thing in my games and for most tabletop gamers. I do a lot of different games so I need a lot of terrain. Some crosses over but there is a surprising amount of stuff that does not. Things have gotten a bit easier as a lot of games no use much smaller tables, often 3' by 3' rather than 6' by 4'.  I usually find wargames tables quite bare. I remember when I started wargaming regularly it was using the Command Decision rules which had vast areas of western Europe, up to half a mile, with nothing on them. It always favoured the Panzer Pixies and more poor old Shermans never got a look in.

I posses vast amounts of terrain. I have about 100 litres of boxes full of the stuff. I don't have as much 28mm terrain. There is a respectable amount but mostly dark age stuff. Some of that will do double duty but not so much. As I am planning games that will need scenery, I thought I'd have a look at what I had planned. Then I realised that I actually had about four different lists for games so I trimmed it down to one.

When I looked at it, I figured the word "trimmed" might not do it justice. It's about five pages long. This would do Sci-fi, modern, post apocalypse, some fantasy (on top of what I already have) and maybe some of what I want for VBCW and Malifaux.

I have acquired a lot of terrain over the years in a fairly ad-hoc manner. What I see is stuff that looks mismatched. What I did with the 15mm terrain (which is all desert) as that I tried to give it a look where everything matched. So I guess this is what I am aiming at now. Now I am looking at the scale of the project. I am just trying to work out how much I would need to do roads and rivers (and tracks and streams and smaller roads and paths and post apocalyptic roads and tracks and rail tracks). I am up to two full sheets of boards (a total 8' by 8') and I am not there yet so almost at three boards. It's a good job I have a table saw.

That wold be just be the beginning. There are fields and broken terrain. A big long list

Saturday, 4 February 2017

ET-Com Grenades And Combat Equipment

For the most part I have been trying to keep myself busy today. I was hoping to go to Varpnartak tomorrow but it looks that is off. Whilst I am a lot better, the prospect of getting to York seems a little daunting at the moment. So I have started spending money online to make up for it. Some stuff for Savage Worlds in general, conversion bits and some stuff for ET-Com. It's probably going to save me some money but I like going to shows. Looking at pretty pictures and not having a sneaky burger is a bit of a downer.

Just to prove to myself that I haven't been completely idle, I thought I'd better put something on display. Having produced some details on weapons for the game I have been planning, I thought it was time to go onto the other starting kit available to the team. With the Savage Worlds stats as well. I have also been looking at sorting out some more background for the game as well.

The G1 Grenade – High Explosive is the newly adopted standard anti-personnel grenade used by ET-Com. It’s design varies little from traditional hand grenades although it is a little larger to allow for an enhanced charge. All agents and soldiers are trained in it’s use. A projectile is also available for the X8 Bomber.

The more advanced G2 Grenade – Armour Shredder is a more advanced design. It does significant damage in it’s own right, it is designed to damage armour over damaging it’s target. The only soldiers trained in the use of this grenade are heavy weapons experts. It is not currently available as a hand held grenade but a rocket prepared variant is currently in our inventory.

The G3 Grenade – Smoke is the classification for both L83A3 and M18A2 smoke grenades. It is used for screening movement and denying the enemy line of sight. These are standard issue smoke grenades for a number of countries and decision was taken not to reinvent the wheel. All agents, security, police and soldiers are trained in it’s use. A projectile is also available for the X8 Bomber.
As an alternative to using the taser, the G4 Grenade – Stun Grenade was developed. It works in the same manner as a conventional flash bang grenade but with a significantly higher charge. This means that it is capable of damaging targets but also means that, if it performs as expected, it will be able to render aliens unconscious. Obviously it is unlikely to effect robots or targets with suitable protection. Using it on humans has potentially lethal consequences. All agents and soldiers have been trained in use of the grenade.

Personal Equipment
The M1 Bayonet is a standard design issued to all troops for use with the X4 Bruiser. It is supplied with a scabbard/sheath. As well as operating as a weapon it can be used as a multi purpose knife, wire cutter, sharpening stone and saw.

The M2 canteen is any one of a number of nationally produced canteens. It has a capacity of 2 litres and contains a built in water purification tube. It is generally only issued to soldiers on operations.

The M3 machete is a standard issue machete produced in a number forms by different nations. It is available to be issued to all troops and agents. It is supplied with a scabbard/sheath. Some soldiers have requested them for use in hand to hand combat and missions in jungle terrain.

All soldiers and agents are issued with the M4 Medical Pouch. It contains a range of first aid supplies as well a single large field dressing, morphine injector and tourniquet.

Designated field medics (soldiers and agents) are issued with the M5 Medic’s Kit. It contains a full range of medical kit and dressings suitable for dealing with combat trauma. It contains enough for four treatments and includes large field dressings, IV fluids, morphine injectors, tourniquets, haemostatic agents, instruments, an infusion kit, airway management tools and a range of medications.

M6 Body Armour is the standard issue to military and police units. A more concealable version of the armour without pockets and attachment points is available to agents. As well as the vest, shoulder pads are available and nearly all soldiers chose to use them. It uses a combination of lightweight ceramic plates covering the front of the armour and layers of improved kevlar to provide the best protection available. The ceramic plates have an integrated copper mesh that should provide some protection against energy weapons. A set of rear plates is available for those soldiers that require it. It has attachment points for webbing pouches various points on the vest and points for the M8 Archer Communication System on the shoulder blades. The M6 Crew Armour retains the armour and sealed nature of the Combat Armour is a slightly lighter form and lacks many of its attachment points. This is issued to pilots and vehicles crews.

Soldiers are equipped with the M7 Cobra Helmet. The helmet is also available to police and agents but is not standard issue. This high threat helmet is capable of dealing with large calibre weapons and it’s integrated copper mesh should provide some protection against energy weapons. The helmet includes a detachable radio headset which can be connected to directly to the M8 Archer Communication System. It has mounting points for night vision equipment, torches and cameras. The M7A Flight Helmet is designed to integrate communications, lightweight night visions and a tactical information system.

For communications ET-Com use the M8 Archer Integrated CCC System. It was designed to transmit encrypted tactical integrated voice and data services and provide the commander with tactical situational awareness. It also includes a GPS system The personal system is usually worn in a pouch attached to a soldiers, security or police officers shoulder and linked wirelessly to the headset integrated into the M7 Cobra Helmet. Agents usually have a more discrete pouch worn under clothing. Units are also fitted to all ET-Com Vehicles.

The M9 Respirator is the standard gas mask used by ET-Com. The M8A variant can be attached to the M7 helmet and M6 body armour allowing an airtight seal. The M8B is the same system which is designed to be issued to those not equipped with the helmet. It is hoped that it will provide a defence against airborne alien threats although this is yet to be tested in the field.

The M10 Combat Uniform is an NBC suit designed to link to the M6 Combat Armour, M7 Cobra Helmet and the M9 Respirator. It is typically issued to all soldiers and police officers and is also issued to agents and vehicle crews if deemed necessary. The M10A Flight Suit is issued to pilots and is a lighter lighter than its military counterpart. It includes gloves, boots and shin guards.
A pack of four illumination flares is available to all ET-Com personnel.

All nations have some form of Combat Knife which many soldiers have brought with them. Such knives are often personal property and pretty much every ET-Com member that carries a gun also owns a knife.

Another generally available piece of equipment is the Survival Tin. Many variations are available and are normally tailored to individual needs. As it weighs a negligible amount almost everybody on active service carries one.


Today would have been my dad's birthday. I can't escape it as every device I have seems to have a built in reminder for it. I have my mum and my sister with me and they are feeling it too. It's not quite a year since he died and today more than anything else I am missing him terribly. 

Friday, 3 February 2017

It's Friday Night. Rock And Roll

The title is a complete lie. Maybe irony if I was feeling more generous. Feeling a little bit better today but still tired so only a short post today. I have spent most of the day asleep. Since I have woken up I am a lot less light sensitive but I am still really wobbly thanks to the inner ear problem which is part of the bug. Yeah... I am hoping I will feel better in the morning. If not, the trip to York is probably off on Sunday.

So I haven't done much today. About all I have done so far is update yesterday's blog post with some pictures of the guns. These are just quick line drawings using some low tech design stuff converted into Bitmaps. I have one more to do but I can't find a good image to work off. With a bit of luck I can move on to doing some details for grenades and personal equipment.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Weapons For ET-Com

I haven't been doing much today. This flu is odd. I feel lousy but as long as I don't move to much I am okay. This have given me some time do typing. So I have been working on some stuff for ET-Com (the astute amongst you may have noticed that I have changed the name). I like a lot of background for my games and this seemed like a place to start.

Although this is just fluff, that no one will probably read, I feel like doing it so I began with the weapons they are starting with. The weapons are all based on Imperial Guard weapons (some modified) simply because the figures are imperial guard ones. These are the ones I have used and converted for use in the planned game. I did think about under-barrel grenade launchers and flamethrowers but haven't gone there yet. I will do some drawings for these based on figures I have and post them here and add a stat block when I find what I have done already.

The Taser (designated X1 Blazer) is designed to tackle aliens so is considerably more powerful than standard tasers. It is designed to fire a large charged Blazer projectile over a short distance. When it hits, it prongs on the front of the projectile should pierce the hide of the target and deliver a high voltage shock, hopefully stunning the target. It is hoped that this weapon can be used to take down aliens so that they might be interrogated and possibly experimented on. This weapon is unlikely to have much effect on armoured or robotic targets. It may fatigue it’s targets. When it is carried, it replaces the soldiers side arm. All agents and military ranks of corporal and above have been trained in the use of this weapon but you would be surprised how few people seem willing to use it
                                                        gun      mag
         damage    range     rounds weight weight  notes
Taser   special    2/4/8 4       1          4       0.25    1 round to reload

The Auto-Pistol fires the standard round common to most ET-Com weapons with a magazine capacity of eight rounds. Having such a large round has meant that the magazine cannot be fitted in the grip so has been mounted towards the front of the weapon which also means the barrel is somewhat shorter than conventional pistols. It is also a big bulky beast of a side arm (which lead to it’s designation as the X2 Beast). This makes it a little less accurate so the weapon has a shorter accurate range than most contemporary pistols. It has a quick release holster meaning that drawing the weapon and firing it in the same turn does not invoke a multi-action penalty making it easy to change to using this weapon. All troops and agents are trained in the use of this firearm although not all carry it.

                                                       gun     mag
         damage    range     rounds weight weight  notes
Pistol 2d8          6/12/24      8           4        1       AP 1, semi

The Sub-Machine Gun (designated the X3 Blaster) is really a fully automatic carbine which fires the standard ET-Com round. It’s magazine holds twenty five rounds which is fires in five bursts. It is designed to combine the effectiveness of the Combat Rifle with some of the close combat usefulness of weapons like shotguns. It is significantly lighter than the other long arms in the arsenal due to it's significantly educed body length, lighter barrel and folding stock. Although less accurate at longer ranges it is fully automatic and gets a +1 to the Shooting roll at targets in the close range bracket. The weapons lighter weight has allowed it to carry more ammunition than the rifle. It’s rate of fire allows it to suppress targets at medium and long range if two bursts are used. All troops are trained to use the weapon and it is an ideal choice for less physically developed troops. It is commonly deployed be vehicle crews and agents. Bayonets cannot be fitted to this weapon.

                                                    gun     mag

       damage   range     rounds weight weight notes

SMG 2d8         8/16/32      5          7          4     AP 1, fully-auto

As the standard firearm, ET-Com has chosen the Combat Rifle (designated as the X4 Bruiser). It is a heavy rifle which fires the standard ET-Com round. A magazine holds twelve rounds which it fires in four three round bursts. Design compromises have led to this weapon having to limited to the three round burst setting only. Combat rifles are normally equipped with a red dot scope although this can be detached and replaced with others. It does not have the ability to fire is suppressive mode. Soldiers consider this to be the best all round weapon with a good rate of fire and a reasonable supply of ammunition. It is the only weapon in the arsenal that can mount a standard bayonet. All soldiers are trained to use the Combat Rifle although some have opted for other weapons. Some agents have been trained in the use of this weapon.
                                                        gun      mag
       damage      range     rounds weight weight notes
Rifle    2d8           10/20/40    4         9         3       AP 2, 3rb
As some aliens are known to charge into hand to hand combat, it was decided to introduce the Assault Shotgun (designated as the X5 Blamo). It is a pump action weapon which carries four rounds. This one of the few standard weapons not to use the standard Rather it uses the large 4 gauge shotgun shell. This is a weapon that is nearly as punishing to fire as it is to be hit by. It is unpopular with all but the strongest soldiers in the team. Anyone trained in the use of the rifle can replace it with this weapon if they are strong enough to cope with the recoil. A cut down version of the weapon has been attached by one of the soldiers to his Combat Rifle (currently designated at the X4A Bruiser+). This has produced a ugly, even heavier rifle with an additional a two shot under-barrel cut down shotgun.
Bayonets cannot be fitted to this weapon.
                                                                       gun     mag
                               damage  range rounds weight weight  notes
Combat Shotgun 2-4d6     4/8/12     4         8          1        

The Sniper Rifle (designated the X6 and nicknamed Bogdan after it’s chief design engineer) is the heaviest of all of the standard X-Com firearms. Like it’s counterparts it fires the standard round which has a slightly increased charge in the round. Effectively it is an acccurised, single shot version of the Combat Rifle with a longer, heavier barrel, improved stock and ruggedised mechanism. It comes with a short, four round magazine. Sniper rifles can, and usually do, mount a detachable scope. It works well as a stand-off weapon and to take down bigger armoured targets. ET-Com currently has relative few trained snipers so only a few of these weapons are used. This weapon cannot be fired if the operator has already moved this round. Firing this weapon before movement in a round invokes no penalty. Only specialist troops are trained to operate this weapon. Bayonets cannot be fitted to this weapon.

                                                                        gun      mag
                         damage     range   rounds weight weight  notes
Sniper Rifle        2d10          12/24/48    5          11         2    AP 3. snap fire

The LMG is ET-Com’s light support weapon of choice. It is an upgraded version of the standard Combat Rifle with a heavier barrel, drum magazine and bipod. Like the Combat Rifle it used the standard ET-Com round which, like the sniper rifle has an a slightly increased charge in the round. High ammunition capacity of forty rounds make is ideal for suppressive fire for which it get a +1. if the firer is stationary the get +2 on suppressive fire. On the downside this means that the drum magazines are very heavy. It is normal for the gunner only to carry one additional drum. Drums are often carried by members of the team. It requires a particularly strong operator to fire effectively. This is a big and bulky weapon (which has lead to it’s designation of X7 Boulder). This weapon is respected for it’s firepower and reviled for it’s weight. Only specialist troops are trained to operate the LMG. Bayonets cannot be fitted to this weapon.

                                                                       gun     mag
                        damage     range    rounds weight weight notes
SAW                  2d10         12/24/48    4         14         6     AP 3

ET-Com has chosen a new development in grenade launchers as it’s close support weapon of choice. The Launcher (designated as the X8 Bomber) is capable of firing a large grenade, directly or indirectly at a moderate range. It has been designed to take out targets behind cover and provide a large area of effect. The standard round does significant explosive and concussion damage and, like regular grenades, Launchers are capable of doing significant damage to terrain. Despite it's bulk, it's composite construction makes it deceptively light to carry. Having a significant kick, it is only issued to stronger members of the team and training is only provided to specialist troops.

                                                                        gun      mag
                        damage     range      rounds weight weight   notes
Launcher          special      12/24/48      1         6         2        medium burst